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Syrian Kurds send military reinforcements to Aleppo to impede Turkish advance

Turkish media reports have said in the past few days that Turkey has stepped up its presence in rebel-held areas in northern Syria amid the growing tensions with the YPG, though this has not been officially confirmed.Last week, Turkey deployed additional trucks and soldiers to its border with Syria, near Afrin.Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Numan Kurtulmus, said Turkey would retaliate against any cross-border attacks from the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, after shelling from the Kurdish enclave of Afrin into Turkey.The statement called on Turkey to withdraw from the northern Syria to save lives and asked the global community to prevent the Turkish intervention in Afrin.”The Turkish state is planning to attack our cities and villages in Afrin with its tanks and troops”, she told VOA. In May, the Pentagon announced that it would provide the YPG/YPJ with weapons as necessary to ensure a victory over ISIS in the battle for Raqqa, the Islamic State “capital”.Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, claimed that U.S. secretary of defense promised that Washington would take back armaments provided to the KPG once Daesh was defeated. While the United States supports the YPG and sees it as a key partner in the fight against IS, Turkey considers it a terrorist organization linked to Turkish-Kurdish separatists inside Turkey, known as the PKK. Turkey strongly opposes the idea of any autonomy or separate rule in YPG-controlled areas in Syria, which is on Turkey’s southern border.Ankara is ready to launch a new military campaign similar to the Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.Roj Musa, a journalist from Afrin, told VOA the barrage started after severe clashes between the YPG and Turkey-backed opposition groups near Menagh Military Airbase, 15 kilometers east of Afrin. He said the fighters backed by Turkey were not able to seize the airbase, which has been under YPG control since February.In Raqqa, intense bombardment has left civilians “confused about where they can seek refuge as they are caught between ISIL’s monstrosities and the fierce battle to defeat it”, the rights chief said in a statement.Hediya Yousef, in charge of the federalism project for the self-declared democratic federation said then that, “Arriving at the Mediterranean Sea is in our project for northern Syria“.Among the issues discussed between the parties also was written guarantees of the US that detachments of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) won’t use USA armament against Turkey.In late April, Erdogan said that some people in northern Syria want to establish their own state, hinting at the Syrian Kurds.